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tv   In Depth with Dave Barry  CSPAN  March 11, 2017 9:00am-12:01pm EST

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and now on booktv, arthur and humorist dave barry on "in depth" from books and books in coral gables, florida. dave barry is the author of 30 books including "dave barry slept here," dave barry hits below the beltway and most recently," best. state. ever." a florida man defend his homeland. >> host: let's begin with where you begin in your book "dave barry slept here," what is wrong with the state of florida? >> we have a reputation for
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stupid weird people and there are many stupid weird people here doing stupid weird things. my argument is it is not our fault. the example that i give, this may offend you personally, i apologize but there was a famous example of florida craziness a couple years ago where a woman was driving south from miami to key west and according to the florida state highway patrol report filed on this, was in a hurry to get to key west because she wanted to see her boyfriend and wanted to shave her bikini region in preparation for the union. so a lot of people would pool off to the side of the road to do that but she again was in a
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hurry, so she outsourced the steering of the car to the person who was a passenger who was her ex-husband, which is very florida detailed. operating the accelerator, she is shaving and he is steering the car, what could go wrong? the car in front of them in a one in 1 million fluke occurrence slows down and they ran into it and there's a big accident and this is international news once it got out. did you read about this woman in florida woman was from indiana. she was shaving her hoosier. we are ellis island here except instead of the tired and poor we get the insane people from other
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states. somebody decides he wants to get naked and pleasure himself into a stuffed animal that walmart, he doesn't do that in ohio or pennsylvania, he comes to florida do that as we become international which they were transient state and a lot of people come here to just be weird. >> host: you write florida has become the joke state, the state everyone makes fun of, states where characters on seinfeld, florida would be kramer. every time it appears the audience automatically laughs knowing it is going to do some idiot thing. >> we got that reputation, it used to be just miami. many people marked miami. i have been a longtime defender of miami i had bumper stickers made up, come back to miami, we weren't shooting at you. years ago and the miami vice days was that it expanded to the whole state and it happened, you
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can trace it to the 2000 presidential election where every other state was able to determine fairly quickly who would be president of the united states but we didn't do it. they called it for gore, bush and gore again, then briefly william shatner was down here and that the end of the night, they were shooting heroin on television, nobody knew, then we have four weeks, five week period where all anyone talked about was tallying the votes, and the ballot choose by weasels, what was this person thinking when he did this? i proposed at the time in florida, voter proof ballot because apparently it was too much for florida to figure out how to punch a hole in a piece of cardboard.
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my ballot ideas and photographs of candidates on the ballot, you poke out your candidate's eyeballs but had done that a lot of voters would poke out their own eyeballs. florida became a joke state. anytime anybody in florida does anything it makes the news. radio stations around the country, nothing to talk about if not for florida. we provide entertainment for the rest of the country. >> host: the short drive from the airport to coral gables there are a couple things i noticed -- >> you drove? >> host: i drove. >> i don't recommend it as a way of getting around. anyone in miami is driving according to the law, his or her individual country of origin,
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many different in court -- interpretations of what a stop sign might mean. that is the last thing it means. >> i saw a few slip and fall lawyers. and plastic surgery centers. >> those are big ones. you need a but enhancement at 2:00 am. it is like starbucks down here. if anyone happens down here there is a number to call and you get millions of dollars. >> host: you write in "best. state. ever." that immigrant groups have their own foreign policy. >> guest: miami has its own foreign policy and has for many years. it is lessened a little bit now
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with cuba. it is a big issue in dade county politics, where you stand on cuba which is not true. >> host: how many times did you run for president? >> guest: it used to be considered a joke but not so much. not so much lately. i am always running. i don't put years on the bumper stickers just to save money. my campaign consists of accepting cash contributions. not that that is different from other things. i am glad to share this with you.
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healthcare -- and the highest priority keep the medical profession, to get to the prostate gland and they are getting to it now. not like a procedure where a doctor stands 85 yards away, looks good from here. >> host: immigration. build a wall, pay for the wall. what i would do, take the florida department of transportation sending them to the border, repair the road. no one will ever get through again. >> host: in your book money secrets, social security problem number one the younger generation would be, with all
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due respect, worthless, social security problem number 2, there are too many baby boomers. >> guest: i agree with both those statements. you want me to respond? i am old. i'm an old person now and i realize what we have done with social security, putting a huge burden on generations following as we have with the environment, we do whatever we want and i honestly think there's going to be a lot of problems after i am dead. >> host: you have a chapter about donald trump, you wrote it in 2006. >> guest: i read his entire book. it was how to make $1 million, something about getting rich, after the art of the deal and
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even more shallow, basically a lot of bullet points about how great donald trump is, unlike how he is now. there were not a lot of specifics about -- just he demanded excellence from everybody. when he picked out silver patterns for his hotel he gets the best silver patterns. i if i had a hotel i wouldn't need any more tips. >> host: this book is from 2006 and here's what you write. in 2000, donald trump considered running for president, he had some terrific ideas but then he decided not to because that would have been a pathetic joke. just kidding. he decided not to because he is too don blunt for politics. >> guest: he came to miami, before or after, was exploring it and i do remember one thing
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he said, and have any presidents made himself into a billionaire, i don't so. abraham lincoln, loser, right? we are beyond the realm of humor nowadays. people say to me all the time this must be so great for you. i go i don't know because the idea with humor is you take something everybody recognizes as real and exaggerate it and make it absurd but he is already doing that you don't need me. it is a brilliant piece of performance art. he is also really president. if you look at it just as performance art it is incredible. every year i have done this for many years. i do it for the miami herald and
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the washington post and other papers. i take the year, have to turn it in in late november. i was in fake news way before it was cool. and a funny narrative. and someone here mentioned it. and terrorist attacks. national tragedies and there's
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nothing sunny. and and it is a big project. the biggest project to do every year. >> host: how long does it take to write it? >> i am doing something in september. through the end of november. and working and it is over real fast. >> host: your year in review 2016, and going back to the previous months. america is still not processed,
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we are not even close. and will we ever settle down in this country. willoughby four years of everybody being like that all the time? i am in the news media. a lot of people i know are newspaper people and they are also like that all the time. >> host: when did you give up your recent -- >> guest: i stopped writing in 2005. i still work for a living but i still write a lost. i write books last year i went to iowa. and went to both political conventions and wrote about those and went to the olympics every day for a couple weeks so really i work harder than you
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do. coal mining but harder. >> host: i will mature when i'm dead, you write political conventions are excellent places to observe vip area lost because teeming with high-level washington dwelling people who have chosen careers, public service specifically to avoid any contact with the public. >> guest: even though i wrote that statement i agree with you completely. washington is all about power and there is no more clear example of that, it crystallizes at a political convention where all these people who are obsessed with power and prestige and privilege come together and have to figure out ways to exclude as many people as possible by their own power and prestige. i was talking about that and it
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was in 2004, political convention in philadelphia, the republican convention. >> host: it was 2000. >> guest: okay. ' of cartoonists, the only people is trivial and shallow as i am in the journalism field. we made it our mission to get into parties we were not invited to. that is the sport of going to a convention. the lowest form of human at a convention is a delicate. holding up whatever stupid sign, wearing stupid hats. they are not important, the vips are important. there is this reception for somebody somewhere and we were
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determined, we talked our way past the initial door people and we were in this building and there is another vip area that is harder to get into. we couldn't get into that. there was this room and it was a strange one. a ballroom and in the middle was a platform that was used for speakers or a band or something in the middle of the floor, raised two feet high. four or five of us that janitors use to keep you from getting on the floor. we stood up on this and what people would wander through, you can't come up here, this is a reserved area. people start coming over. why can't we get up there.
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but then dick army, who was the majority leader of the house of representatives, do you want to get up? sure. he got up and it was like a cartoonist and me and dick army. dick army, they don't know what it is but up on this thing, they want to get on the platform and manning the edges of the perimeter, you know this person and he was totally getting the joke. dick army and various -- getting more crowded out there and more
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people wanted to get -- a wonderful night. it really was in a nutshell what washington is. it was completely arbitrary. >> host: 30 plus books, cable news. are you a fan of cable news? >> guest: most of the network news consists of celebrity gardening tips. turning on -- no offense to the today show, in the book. if you want to watch the news you go to cnn, msnbc or fox. i want all of them, and fox is
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completely -- will present -- cnn subtle about it that they hate him. nbc hates him. morning show, good show, i like that show but everybody on it is biased, there isn't any show that i feel anymore is presenting unbiased news. i don't even know what unbiased news means anymore, it is so hard to find. >> host: and what point did you know you were a humorist, that you are funny? >> guest: when i thought i was funny was really young. my family valued humor, my parents were funny people and i thought i was funny as a kid, i got the joke, sarcasm heavily in
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the family, and i wrote humor columns and got a job at a newspaper when i got out of college and when i could i wrote a humor column, some are still going on. and i was still writing a humor column and left journalism altogether, quite effective for business people and that was my job but i was writing a humor column in pennsylvania. by then i am in my 30s, this is
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a job i have. if somebody said to be at the beginning you have a job where all you do is right humor that would be my goal. that did happen to people -- didn't think would happen to me. my son was born and i am writing my weekly humor column but the philadelphia inquirer, sunday magazine, philadelphia inquirer, maybe you can submit stuff so i wrote this big long piece, humor piece about the birth of my son and this was 1980 when he was born, the baby boomers were in the process of taking over the world at that time. the think about the baby boomers as everyone knows, we are very special and there is no one like i said there will be a never a journalist -- a generation like us, we are special and one of
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the special things we did was had babies, nobody had ever had babies before, certainly not the way we had them. the way we had them, the old system, you don't have to be there. and in third grade. nobody participated, medical personnel -- woke the mother up and showed it to the dad, if he was even around and that was the old system. a lot of people were born under that system. our system was natural childbirth, where everybody would appreciate and enjoy it,
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there were no drugs involved. we went to classes on how to have a baby which i don't know how people did it before because we had classes and they would pass around a model of the cervix to admire. you don't know where that thing has been. the main things they would talk about was contractions. you never use the word pain, never. we are like contractions, sensory medical and clinical, you have contractions and when the contraction comes at a certain time that you breathe a certain way, you coach, sounded like it was going to be really great. that you actually get in there in the area women are having the baby and it is like [screaming is bracket screaming in pain,
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begging for drugs. i wrote and essay about that, contrast between classes and actual childbirth. the editor ran that in the philadelphia inquirer, and there was no such thing as viral because there was no internet but in the newspaper world, all the newspapers had sunday magazines. they were always looking for content and they would exchange, somebody else ran a piece they were interested in, everybody -- journalism was being taken over by people my age, all were going through the same thing, this was pretty funny. i started getting calls and the first call i got, i am teaching, that is my job.
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the philadelphia inquirer paid me 3 $50 for that piece which was a lot of money. i got a call from the chicago tribune, the editor of sunday magazines that i read your piece and would like to printed. i go great. how much do you charge? i already made $350. how about $50? he said we will pay you $500. i only said 25 he might have gone up to 1000. that process was repeated. i suddenly discovered they all ran it and what else have you written, a little column for the daily local news in westchester, pennsylvania. suddenly based on that one story, within a couple months i was in a lot of papers, people
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knew who i was, the editors including one in miami and in a fairly short time i was offered jobs at newspapers, and being a guy writing a column almost as a hobby. the little paper that ran weekly which paid me $23 a week, my actual income to 7 we i was a humor writer. it happened to me, not like -- all these markets, i didn't that way. more like it happened to me and it was wonderful when it did, very much that expected. >> host: were you good at teaching effective running? >> guest: i was good at teaching it, they were not that good at learning it. it is probably still true, i
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don't know, the people, our clients were engineers, chemists, auditors, they were intelligent people and educated people but they didn't write for a living, didn't think of themselves as writers, they wrote the way everybody and their company wrote and everyone wrote the same way back then. don't know if it is still true. if you had something important to say and you figured out a way after three years of testing and experimentation you are like dupont, you figured out a way to manufacture this plastic for $.27 cheaper than before and you can save the company $384 million a year without any -- doing much at all, just changing a formula, the way you would write that, you write and 87 page document that would start three years ago we undertook a
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program to determine whether substituting -- somewhere in there would say we could save $380 million a year. you would find somewhere in there after dragging you through all the work and all the studies they did and always worded that way and i would say to them the first sentence of your report, we can say $340 million, we can't do that? that is not how we do it here. but they are paying me to tell you how to do it. that is how you should do it and it was a will battle. i would say i won the battle 10% of the time and lost 90% of the time. also i was talking a lot how to structure a sentence and stuff like that but i don't think i changed the way american
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businesspeople right edge i did make them feel guilty anyway. >> host: back to your discussion. >> guest: one thing. the thing that benefited me personally about that part of my career was 7 years of teaching effective writing is i got good at talking to groups. you walk into -- you are at a plant in north carolina and a bunch of people have been a report for a week this guy will talk about this for a week and they shuffled in and sit down and look at me and i look i am 9 years old and i had a mustache trying to look older and look like a 9-year-old with a mustache and i would say -- i had to convince these people, they didn't think i do anything. they didn't want to be there. ..attention and try to teach them.
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just at the beginning, i was terrified. i would throw up before, at the motel before i would go. but then i just learned to make it entertaining. they knew that there was going to be something funny coming along sooner or later and i got better and better at speaking to groups. that turned out to be invaluable when i became a writer. because as you probably know when you become a writer, writing the book is, in the might of the publishers, like maybe 50%, maybe less. the important thing is going out and promoting the book talking to groups of people. that was a useful expense for me to like an unwilling audience and have to win them over. when you get out to talk to people about your book, generally they are willing audience it's a lot easier but i felt much more comfortable doing that. >> host: do you enjoyed the book tour? >> guest: i do. i don't like the travel part. my joke has been, the purpose of the book tour is to kill off the cassette will make the book more
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[laughter] >> but it can be brutal. it really can be unbelievably i will give you one example. i don't allow this anymore. i used to be much more naive on what i would allow in the bookstore. the thing that i learned is we are going to have a film crew to tag along. you won't know that they are there. a complete lie. they make you come out of the door three times. this was when i was more naïve and i was on a book tour in seattle and this film crew tagalong. i get off the plane and they are there. this was before 9/11 so they could be right at the gate. followed me through, i get picked up by the escort to take you randy they are in the van with me so we can even have like, we can't even say hi.
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i could say hi but everything you say, don't mind us. you know? cycle around, i did a bunch of talks, a bunch of radio interviews, tv interviews, a very packed day. i'm looking at the schedule and i can see that there's half an hour left when afton, filter it is going to leave and i couldn't have in the hotel and then i have to go do the bookstore event that night. i happen. i'm just looking for to this half an hour all day long. finally it gets, get to the hotel and they would leap at the hotel. i check in. they are gone. go to my room, opened the door and as a film crew. [laughter] they forgot to tell me that it would be another film crew in the hotel room to do an interview and a walk in and they go, i lost it. i go, what are you doing here? they are of course the leaders and the women goes you did know
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about this question it's on your schedule. i went, i'm really kind of angry but i'm trying not looking, well, what if i had to go to the bathroom? she said, do you? [laughter] and so that part of the book tour, you know, that could really get wearying. but the part of the book tour i like is, when you do a signing and people were actually buying your book, come to listen to you talk and buy a book and have you signed the book, like there's some real people there. because like the radio, tv people, they get your book for free and they're doing it because you're providing them with content, like this, you know? [laughter] but the bookstore people, that's not them. they can because they wanted to. i think every writer kenneth likes to know that there are readers out there somewhere. >> host: and good afternoon and welcome to booktv on c-span --
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>> guest: we are just starting now? what was all the stuff going on? >> host: well -- [laughter] it's going to do hard to get through, i think. welcome to booktv on c-span2. this is our "in depth" program over talk to one author and talk about his or her body of work. this month is humorous and author dave barry. we are at books & books in coral gables, florida, and he is our guest, the author of over 30 books. here are some of them. dave barry talks back came out in 1992. dave barry does japan, 1993. dave barry is not making this up, 1994. you put your name and all your book titles? >> guest: i find it just as annoying as you do. [laughter] i once proposed that title be another dam dave barry book by dave barry, and that almost went with but they didn't. suspect may be your next one. dave barry's greatest hits came
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out in 1997. dave barry selector which is aimed at united states, also came out in 1997. dave barry hits below the beltway, 2002. dave barry "money secrets," 2006. dave barry history of the millennium, so far 2007. i will mature when i'm dead 2010. live right and find happiness came out two years ago, and then this year, "best. state. ever" a florida man defense his homeland. how long have you been living in florida? >> guest: 31 years. as i say i moved to miami from united states in 1986. [laughter] >> host: and we will figure out where you were before that after come want to make sure our audience can get involved. this is a call-in program as regular reviews the booktv know. we'll put the phone numbers up f you'd like to have a conversation with dave barry,
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202-728-8200 for those in east and central time zones. 202-728-8201 for those of you in the mount a specific time zones. if you can't get through on the phone lines and you want to try social media, @booktv is our twitter handle. you can send a message in there. you can make a comment on our facebook page, and file you can send an e-mail to we will begin taking those calls in just a few minutes. are you on social media? >> guest: yeah, yeah. i have twitter. a facebook. i have a daughter who is 17 who is like entire life is on snap something, you know. indirectly through her. sometimes she takes pictures of me. my daughter is base basal to frs with every other 17-year-old person in the planet thanks to social media. >> host: what is your twitter handle? >> guest: it's ray rayadbury.
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it's really the fault of gene weingarten was my first editor here at tragic magazine and of the humors columnist at "washington post" who was obsessed with anagrams. he pointed out a long time ago that dave barry with anagrams and always like that. so i use that for my twitter handle. i don't know why i should just call myself dave barry. that's the actual name. you know that, right? >> host: from your book live right and find happiness, to go back to conversation about baby boomers, above all, the greatest generation did not work about providing a perfect risk-free environment for their children. they loved us, sure, but they didn't feel obligated to spend every waking minute running interference between us in the world. has that changed? >> guest: yeah. i mean, that's still my view but
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my point and that essay was my generation, i was \60{l1}s{l0}\'60{l1}s{l0}, sex, drugs and rock 'n roll. that was my generation. we thought of ourselves as a cool, cooler than her parents, more fun that her parents, courageous and repairs. but when i got older look back i realize that was just not true. first of all sex drugs and rock 'n roll as work progresses with kids we stopped and became nannies and became the people the skill of thing the kids do and make sure their kids have a helmet for every activity, including eating. we became much more worried than we were fun. but also i felt back to my parents generation. i grew up a little town called armonk, new york and the title of this essay was the real madman because it's the place
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where madmen, the tv show is set, westchester county, new york. my dad commuted to newark city every day. a bunch of my friends that's commuted to new york city every day. some of them are advertising people. it was that age group that people up into the great depression and world war ii who are now in her 50s becoming successful. but what i remember when i thought back about it is even though they were parents they had asked. they had kids, careers in anything like that. they partied much harder as grown-ups than my generation ever did. my parents, they had partied every friday and saturday. cocktail parties. the women dressed up. they made manhattan's. they smoked cigarettes like crazy. they ate gluten, you know, openly. [laughter] they didn't care. granted it was not healthy at a lot of them died a lot sooner than they should have but they had fun while they were going.
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that really didn't happen in my generation. we got much more staid and nervous as a cup holder. i guess it's because they alreadalwaysbeen, like they've h world war ii. they probably didn't feel like, that too much to worry about with raising kids. this is not a new observation, but kids are now much more sheltered. when i was a kid we just, i can't imagine allowing my daughter, my son to do what i did, to get delivered i had when i was a kid. i was just gone from dawn to dusk. my parents didn't know where i was. i don't know, maybe that was bad in some ways, but we had a lot of fun. we developed a great sense of independence from that. i don't know about now. these kids today. >> host: that's it? >> guest: that's it. these darn kids today. >> host: from dave barry slept
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here, mentioned the 60s and a middle age urban professional and he will transform himself into something worse than what of those depression nights. droning away about his memories and they think up of an excuse to leave guesstimate the baby boomers? yeah. >> host: that's what you wrote. >> guest: well, everybody is really sick of us and i can kind of get why. this 60s were a long, long time ago. i have to admit that still the music i prefer. one of my joys in life is to tell my daughter how crappy her music is compared to the music that i listen to. and nobody is going to still listen to her music 50 years later the way we listen. made i'm wrong about that. see, i'm already droning away about it, aren't i? >> host: what kind of work did your parents do in new york? >> guest: my father was a presbyterian minister, but he did not have a church party was
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was not a pastor he was executive director of an opposition called the new york city mission society, which was anti-poverty organization in new york that ran all kinds of programs to get when summer camps like every summer my sister and my brothers and i went to camp sharper room where we were the only kids from westchester kennedy everybody else was inner-city kids. my sister and i were the only white kids. what else come anyway, my dad band that kind of, ran that organization. so basically his job was to get money from guilty white people and funnel it to various programs in the south bronx, antipoverty programs, designed to get kids into college, that kind of thing.
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he went to new york everyday just like every other dad, but his job was very different ricky was very active in the civil rights movement also, so. my mom, everyone ask, not everybody but i'm often asked is where did you get your sense of humor? my dad was a funny guy. he appreciated humor but my mom was funny, and she was funny. she was very edgy funny. she was what they called a a housewife. she had four kids and raised four kids in new york. she cooked dinner for us every night. she wash the clothes, cleaned the house. but she was funny. she was college educated. she went the university of nebraska. she was a stenographer in the manhattan project, in chicago. she worked in the universe of chicago within the reactor in the basement. she claimed, i don't know why she would lie, she was not a person how she claimed she once took dictation from enrico
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during -- she had secured loans and everything, after she and i get married she moved to new york. dad worked in new york city and so she was raising us in this little town. she was not like other moms. i didn't know, i did notice this one is skewed because of my time and see normal normal but my mom was very edgy lady. like we had a pond near our house, at least pond. my sis and i would go swimming in something, an example of never allow my daughter to do, go off into the woods and go swimming without a helmet. and a lifeguard and some kind of insurance binder. we were just go off and go swimming. we go out, went to her mom out the window as her going off in communication and should open when i go don't drown, kids. we would say we won't. that's kind of thing we made fun of in our family.
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she would take us around to look down, it's kind of a boutique suburb of new york city, i pressed the address now. that it was just a little town that was near new york but wasn't of new york and it was a real small town, like there was the market we go do shopping and the anpr to some of your shopping. the cleaner should go, a drugstore. my mom would take us around on the errands and the tradesman like her, because she was funny. we go into chinese market and ray would be behind them counter slicing baloney. how are you doing? just shady, ray. [laughter] are we allowed to say that on c-span, i don't know. i apologize. and everybody would just, you know, so she was funny and there was nothing she wouldn't make fun of, nothing.
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i will give you an example that, maybe even sound a little shocking but it was a true story. when my dad died, we were devastated obviously nobody more so than my mom. there was a service for him but we had him cremated and so we had is earned and just my brothers, my sister my mom and i took the earn to the middle patina cemetery to bury my dad. so it was raining and it was a a sad day. we were all weeping. we go to and they have a little hole dug force already. we go out there, the four of us, the five of us, and put my dad in, is urn in and coming up and say some stuff and hug each other. we are walking away. we are all crying, it's raining. i had my mom on my arm and she looks down at one of tombstones and goes, so that's why we don't see him around anymore.
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like, we both started laughing, you know? we are still crying but we also -- even in that moment my mom, like she's not going to pass up that opportunity to make a joke. so that was my mother. she had her emotional missions and troubles and everything, but she was really, really funny. i was just raised in a tradition where you don't ever take anything too seriously and especially not yourself. that was my family. >> host: you mention your father was an ordained minister to the problem with about religion is that you run the risk of offending sincerely religious people, and then they come after you with machetes, you write. >> guest: along time ago i wrote that column, yes. i remember, contrasting viscount every religion things every other religion is insane. one of the examples, there is a guy in india who believe you should drink your own urine, you know.
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and over here we think that's really crazy that we do trust ourselves before we take -- like god will be concerned whether this foul shot goes in or not. over in india, do you think god cares about how shots? drink my urine. anybody else thinks and what else is crazy. >> host: lets get to calls. we will take calls from a audiee and we have an audience here at books & books. if you have a question, danielle is in the back with a microphone suggest raise your hand and we will get to that in just a second after we hear from allie catherine in bryan, ohio. allie catherine, you are on with author dave barry call back thanks for taking my call my question is about your sense of humor. you said you got a lot of your sense of humor from your mother and your family, but you seem to bring a lot of enthusiasm and good life to your humor or so
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where do get your enthusiasm? thank you. >> guest: well, thank you for the question. i guess i've always liked being, being able to amuse people. it's a form of, you know, performance in a way. i like to make people laugh. when people are amused, i guess i get that same vibe like a standup comedian gets from an audience, you know. you are enthusiastic about it. you like to make people laugh. it's fun when people are enjoying what you are saying. it's very different from writing humor and which is not that at all because you get no feedback, no reaction at all from anybody. you just staring at the screen and hoping someone out will find it entertaining. it's more rewarding to talk to people, but it's also riskier
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because you don't know that they're going to laugh or not. >> host: steve is in east brunswick new jersey. you are on booktv. >> caller: how're you? hello? >> host: please go ahead. we are listening. >> caller: pics i was wondering who some of dave barry's favorite authors are that write satire. >> guest: probably easily the writer of most influenced me, and it was thanks to my father, it was robert benchley. this is a guy that is almost unknown today as far as i can tell, but in the 20s, '30s was probably if you asked literally american who is the funniest person in the country they would say robert benchley. he was a brilliant guy. he went to harvard. he was a theater critic but he
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wrote just wonderfully funny, silly essays. and my dad was a huge fan of this. so we had when i was a kid, around the house robert benchley anthologies of his columns for "life" magazine, for "the new yorker." and i discovered him when i was maybe 10 years old and i started reading it. it was the best thing ever read. it was like i can believe a grownup wrote this. they were hilarious essays, and i wanted to write like that. from the beginning whenever i wrote anything for my high school paper, my college paper, when i got to write columns for the newspaper, i tried to write like robert benchley. so that's the guy more than any other. i also was a big fan of pg woodhouse. my dad again introduced me to him. later years, a friend of mine from down here, douglas adams, the late great douglas adams. i'm going to stop because i will eat or that it should allow. i just want to send one thing
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about the robert benchley thing that i always think is important for me to remember is, he wrote essays that were pretty topical. part of the pump of it is the reason today, i still do. i have robert benchley books in the house and her beat them, love stuff can't do anymore. the cultural reference is gone or it's just something about haberdasher that you don't relate to because we don't have haberdashery anymore. that's one of the reasons why nobody still reads robert benchley. i think it's important for anybody who does you were for a living is the kind of recognize you are not going to be around pretty much whatever cultural bubble you are in, that's it. when it's over, it's over. you're not not going to be remembered the way george orwell is down the road. >> host: a little bit later in the program today we will show you a more extensive list of dave barry's favorite authors and influences, but i do want to ask you one of the ones you sent
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us was mad magazine. >> guest: everybody my age i think red mad magazine. those guys were brilliant. the art was brilliant and the writing was brilliant. i don't know about now, i have not read mad magazine in years but when i was a kid that was sharp and it was like sharp and edgy. mad magazine, national lampoon and early saturday night live were like powerful influences of humor to my generation, and still are i think. >> host: we have a question in the audience. can we get the microphone? there we go. if you could tell us your first name. >> paul. my favorite issue of "the miami herald" is always, always your holiday gift guide. i just laugh myself until i can't laugh anymore. i'm just wondering if anyone of those insanely ridiculous gifts that stands out in your mind more than the others?
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>> guest: i have to say, every i do a holiday gift guide which is the most useless, ridiculous, stupid products but it can't be trying. if they are trying to be stupid, some of those get in but as a rule, are strict, my strict policy is if you're trying to be funny when not going to let you into iraq tried to think people would really want this thing. that's a much narrower universe but i do it every year. the one that i remember most vividly, and this is a phenomenon that happens often with the get-go. usually as a joke. one year it was a manufacturer -- decoys, duck decoys that
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float on the water that looked like ducks. the company decided that it was not realistic that all the ducks were always sitting up like thic because ducks sometimes put their heads down. i can't really believe that the duck -- they're not that smart. they're going, hey. none of them are -- they're all -- that's a little -- i don't think ducks are that, but anyway. hunters might be that stupid to believe that the duckers would think that. they made this thing, it was a duck butt. the duck of a butt sticking up. why is it not coming back up. you know. [laughter] >> anyway. we ordered a duck put. what we did -- we ordered several. the illustration, we always like to do a funny photo illustration, always a photograph.
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a big punch bowl and several b duck butts in it.t in i [laughter] >> anyway, the issue runs the duck butts are in there and everybody in america wants to buy duck butts.ll of a [laughter] sudden. there was a story, i think of wisconsin, even they didn't embed shut down production for the winter and they had to reopen the factory. to mate, to meet the demand for all the duck butts. they were concerned that people might put them in punch bowls because the alcohol would dissolve the paint or whatever and it would be toxic and it could be fatal, they said. they called it has been what i thought about it. i said, anybody who drinks punch from the volokh duck butts deserves to die. [laughter] italy, so that, there's been a lot of, you know. [inaudible] just i don't even remember the
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chicken brassiere. >> host: we need you to get on the mic sore television audience can -- >> guest: he said his favorite was the chicken brassiere spent the inflatable toast. black toilet paper. >> guest: black toilet paper makes some sense. [laughter] just reuse and nobody would know spit at the turkey like air freshener. >> yeah, yeah. you've given a lot of thought to the holiday gift guide. >> host: let's hear from gary in california. you are on with author dave barry. go ahead. >> caller: hi, dave. i want to run something by then i thought was funny. everybody who trump wants to ask about russia, why doesn't trump just check with his own fbi and see if they have any russian connections ahead of time instead of wasting all this time having the democrats ask all his
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nominees, you know, how did any contact with russia? on me, he's got own fbi. why doesn't he check that out? >> guest: are you saying he has the fbi? >> caller: he is president. can you just ask his own fbi if any of his nominees have had any contact with russia instead of having the democrats ask about that and -- >> guest: send out another tweet and i think that's the root is chosen to take. about the russians, i do have a little experience with the russians, which i learned about two years ago, a friend of mine and a co-author and been made, we wrote some books together, we went to russia for the state department, united states state department part of a program where this in authors to russia in hopes of improving relations. ..
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pretty confident and that our computers were hacked into and recently confident that they were listening. but anyway, when i learned and then i pass along to anybody that ever goes to russia, if you go to russia and i cannot stress the importance of this enough, do not eat the mexican food.
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[laughter] >> i went -- we went one night in moscow and did an event and coming back to the hotel and we were starving and the only restaurant open who were run by russians and i had what i later realized was a weponized chimichanga. if anybody was listening on my hotel room last night, that person would need years of they were my. yeah. >> what was your meeting like with the union of russian writers? >> that was weird. you know, when -- i had to learn over there that russians -- specially if they are english-speaking russians seem just like us but they are not.bu the official russians don't like us. they are up front about it. they think we are -- putin holds
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thinks about we are enemy. these guys were like, they said you're going to meet with the writers. we will talk about writing and it wasn't like that at all. it was like, here is what we do here and it's much better than what you do. what do you do? i write booger jokes. it was unnerving. at one point we were in st. petersburg. we imposed sanctions because of crimea. at one point trying to make it more nonideological,i ask one of the writers, in st. petersburg it was called stalin ride and
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there was a seeing that went -- siege that went on and it wasn't that long ago. does that resinate here because that wasn't long ago. nothing like that has ever happened in any city in the united states, here you are this beautiful city and looks very normal but this horrible thing happened right here and the guy says, yes, it's still very much part of our -- people ate card board, sawdust, people ate dirt so we did not worry about sanctions. they are like -- it was really hard core. they're still -- they don't like us i guess that's what i'm saying. >> let's hear from norm in washington. >> two questions, the first was
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are you worry that had trump could put you out of business because who says more outrageous or funnier stuff than he does? the second question is there was a professor at the university of oregon about the dumbing down of america and i wondered if you thought explain some of the weird stuff going on. >> well, the first -- i talked this about earlier, t difficult to write humor about donald trump because he generally gets beyond whatever boundaries you said he goes beyond them so often and also there's so many people writing about them. everybody -- every night there's 27 shows doing donald trump jokes. so if you're in the humor business, it's pretty crowded right now. the trump field. dumbing down.
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america is getting dumber ever since i have been alive. my daughter is 17 and she's in high school and i like to think that, you know, i'm as smart as a high school student and the last time i could actually help her with her math homework was when she was in fifth grade and then they got into the cosign and that was that. so if we are getting dumber, i don't know, i can't explain why my daughter and her friends are studying things much harder than we are. we must at some point forget everything we learn. i don't know. that's not a coherent answer, is it? >> we have another question from the audience. please go ahead, tell us your first name. >> my name -- another paul here. my family friends and i have been this part of our lives fans of yours for two reasons, one is
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your extraordinary gifts of the absurd and the other is your social commentary inside, like, you know, in the history of dorothy parker and dick gregory, calvin and this combination is unique and we've not only enjoyed but value your books, commentaries and articles and i just occurred to me, the question is the balance between absurd and commentary, it must be something -- i have been following some of the things you said challenging with tenuous grasp of reality that we have try today define has been administered and we find ourselves in a surreal world. have you ever thought of how to seriously use your humor to counteract that? >> no. [laughter] >> one of the things that people
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have said over the years and vs. very flattering. you really helped me, you know, i was having a hard time with my son or daughter and we read your books and brought us together, i went through rough patch and i read the books and made me feel better, thank you. the problem is i would do it if it made you feel worse. that's the only thick i know how to do. i'm always grateful when people say it makes them feel better. you mention calvin, a friend of mine, one of my favorite writers and i don't know why i need to say this but calvin were mugs once, attempted mugging. we were like -- we had done an event and we went to a bar after ward and we came back to his house in the village and we are standing outside his door and the guy comes up with a jacket and it's like this in the pocket. he goes, give me your money or i
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will blow your heads off and we later on deconstructed this, why would you have both guns. you wouldn't have two guns. [laughter] >> we were action heros. way we handled that -- let us in right now and he didn't mug us. we successfully survived the mugging and we didn't give him our wallets. >> speaking of guns, you talk about visiting walk and load. >> here in miami and all other places but miami seems appropriate place. in wynwood, a hip neighborhood, there's a place called lock and load where you can go and shoot machine guns. i don't know if that's the correct term technically for it
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but the guns where you pull the trigger and it's set up like a restaurant, you walk in and there's a menu of, you know, how many guns you want to shoot and what kind and the attractive young ladies in t-shirts coming around and taking your order and they have guns on the wall that you can, you know, they're -- they don't shoot but you can pick the guns and see how they feel and we shot machine guns and we walked out and were wired freak for hours and hours. i would not be a good soldier. i would be like -- if i had to shoot for real. >> please go ahead with your question or comment for dave barry. >> hi, dave, you've convinced me in your writing just how crazy florida is. i'm being forced to move to orlando to keep together with my
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wife, she has to go on assisted care rest home. here in new york in saracusei get messed a lot. the in and out game. but in the assistant care home i can't have anything bigger than a toy poodle. that's not going protect me. now i've -- just the other night there was an article about crazy new stand your ground law in florida and as fast as i can run away i look like i'm standing my ground and so i was talking to a guy that does carry a gun and he
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convinced me i could carry a glock42 and what caliber do you carry? >> i don't have a gun. i'm assuming everyone in my neighborhood does. i don't own a gun. we do have a stand on the ground law. you can shoot anybody as long as you are standing on the ground. when i first moved to miami, this was during the 80's, cocaine era, i remember driving and seeing cars go by with bullet holes. at first i didn't believe that was what it was. there were a lot of shootings, not so much anymore in miami as far as i know u, but that was going on. >> where is the line when it comes to humor and real life and do you feel that you've ever crossed that? >> i mean, are you asking in the
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sense are the things that you shouldn't make fun of -- >> sure. >> yeah, there's a lot of things. i don't make jokes about rape or the holocaust. i don't make jokes about child abuse, what you can do or sometimes you can make fun about, you know, around those things but the actual thing itself, nah, plenty of things that you can laugh about without hurting people. although i have found that nothing i ever write about, i can't write anything without offending somebody, i guess is the way i should put it. people -- you would be -- i mean, when i write a newspaper column, frequently nothing ever is true and if they appear in the newspaper there are people i call humor impaired who just assume that everything in there has to be true or why would the newspaper print it and i would
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always get letters like, if i say, you know, abraham lincoln invented the lightbulb. inevitable somebody would correct me on that and said it was not abraham lincoln, it was beb jam infranklin -- benjamin franklin. if you write anything in the newspaper, you have to be ready to offend people. >> is your meeting with vice president cheney, is that a true story? >> yeah that was an embarrassing moment for me involving alcohol. i have several of those. years ago the washington post used to have a cartoonist dinner and i got -- i was included. i was honored to be included. a small gathering of cartoonist
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and me and tedd, i don't know -- but we would meet and they would always invite some high-level washington person to be a part of the -- i don't think it was vice president, i think he was secretary -- secretary of defense. so it's a small room and the serving cocktails and i may have had a couple of cocktails so dick cheney is there and i go up to him and i go, hi, dave barry. very nice about it. i go away and then i don't know if this has ever happened to you, a little bit later i had forgot that i had introduced. he goes, yeah. yeah, yeah. but now it's striking me as funny, you know. i come up to him later and say hi -- now i'm pretty sure that the yes, somebody kill me.
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[laughter] anyway, i did do that. this is reminding where i had too much to drink. a friend of mine and a member of a band i'm in, i'm in a rock band called rock bottom remainders, we are a terrible band but we have a lot of fun. one of the reasons we are bad is because other bands rehearse ahead of time, identify been -- i've been told. that's their secret. when you see rolling stones go up on stage they know what they're going to play which is kind of cheating. [laughter] >> we do a show and almost every time fundraiser.
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we go to a bar in new york city and i'm sitting next to scott, but there's a lot of other people around and everybody is talking. scott is telling this long complicated anecdote involving his spleen. [laughter] >> and i'm talking toker people, here is the story. scott is, you know, good speaker, he's telling the story, do you have a spleen or not and he goes, no, i don't. that's the point of the story that's what i'm discussing here. oh, okay. then back in a little bit and it's a little confusing. do you have a spleen or not? no, i told you i don't have a spleen. ia third time i come back and again because of the way he's telling the story it's not clear even though -- and i said -- asked him again if he has a spleen.
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so, okay. so now i don't have to look. so anyway, the evening ends, everybody goes to bed, not together. early train the next morning in boston. the alarm goes off or whatever and i get up and i stagger towards the bathroom and i see a writing on my arm and i looked down and says no spleen. and i have no recollection of how that got there. and you know how there's an urban myth about the guy that wakes up in a hotel room and his kidneys have been harvested and i'm thinking, oh, my god, someone har visited my spleen. i don't know how to check because i don't know where my spleen is. they don't need a spleen.
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they take it for recreational purposes. you have to be a moron harvester to harvest somebody's spleen. the moral is kids, don't drink alcohol. [laughter] >> so roxanne freedman asked via facebook do you ever get to tallahassee, steaght legislators are much crazier than dc, how about the panhandle? >> i did. this was years ago. i did one about the florida state legislature. you're right. it's pretty funny. i was there the opening day of the legislature and they -- i don't know if they still do this but desks are covered with fruit and vegetables and flower, people bring them gifts and it's the silliest looking legislative body and then, of course, when they start passing laws they get even sillier. you're right, it's a rich source
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of humor but i have tapped it once. maybe i should again. >> david in tulsa oklahoma, hi, david, please go ahead. >> caller: hi, i am a middle school teacher and i would say 99% of my students are hispanic and in my 33 years i cannot think of a group of students who need to laugh more than they. i was wondering if mrs. barry has ever written anything on immigration and what would be his advice to my students under the current circumstances they find themselves in in the united states. >> well, if they are -- first of all, i feel for them if they are undocumented. i guess that's who you mean. >> i would say the vast majority of them are dreamers. parents that have been through
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situations where lawyers are documents where they would lead in the united states. it's been very traumatic for them and the middle school students and the middle school brain can be very frightening and -- >> all right, david, in tulsa, thank you very much. >> i've written -- first of all, i have nothing helpful to tell you about their situation except that i hope that they don't get -- i hope they and their parents get to stay. i've written -- i happen to be fond of the middle school audience as readers. i wrote some books with pearson and i always find them to be -- when i go to school events, a wonderful group, my favorite -- my favorite piece of fan mail
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from a reader was from 2 -- i think there were 2 fifth graders who had a book club and they read a book called science fair and they wrote us a letter which i have saved at home that says, we think your book is one of the most awesome subpoena ss books out there, just so you know two of the authors have died, we hope that the curse skips you. [laughter] >> anyway, that doesn't really help the kids in that situation. >> what's a typical writing day for you? >> it's so boring. [laughter] >> i get up, i, you know, read my e-mail, look at some websites usually and then i call up onto the screen whatever i was last working on that i gave up on despair and resume despairing
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and the myth about writing is that, you know, it relies on inspiration and that, you know, ideas just come to you and out they come out of your fingers and that may come to people but sometimes those people are all crazy and are writing gibberish. if you're crying coherent probes is just so much slower than that and so much less dependent on inspiration and so much dependent on willing to stay there on the front of the screen and keep trying, keep trying. it's true of all kinds of writing and my kind of writing is more ridiculous because i'm trying to write jokes. i will spend ten minutes agonizing whether to make it a whizle or a squirrel. usually there's one big idea behind the whole thing, but any
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given sentence or description, there's a lot of decision that is you make to make it better and that's a slow painful, i don't want to compare it to real work but it's slow and painful and takes a long time. some are plotters but what makes them writers is they don't quick, they keep going, day the screen and they don't give up even though it's pretty crappy the first time and they try to make it better. in most people that's the process they go through. probably with the exception steven king. >> so when your books are put together, is it a light touch by the editor? >> yeah. this is going to sound arrogant
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but i generally don't believe anybody knows whether know is as funny as i do. it's something that i have done all of my life. i think i have a good sense. if an editor tells me, this just doesn't work, then i will just tell him he's wrong. [laughter] i will seriously, if it's somebody i respect i will absolutely rework it and i will have discussions about individual things. generally, it's not a major reworking. you can't do that with humor. i don't care, as long as it makes you laugh, i don't care. if i start on one topic and end up on another topic. as long as you're laughing, i'm happy. so the real question is does it
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work, does it make people laugh. >> another question in the audience, if you wait for the microphone. >> my name is alice. how do you solicit the gifts in your christmas guide? >> it takes about ten minutes. during the course of the year people suggest the items or i see something and i send them all through my assistant judy smith, when it comes time to do the gift guide, it's basically is it stupid but is it somebody taking it seriously. if those -- if it meets those two criteria, then i'm likely antonio collude it in the guide. >> thank you, that's really valuable.
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>> are you planning to do a gift guide. >> holiday tradition is i read the gift guy out loud to ray here. no, he can't and so i have tears rolling down my face. that's what we do every holiday. >> i'm glad to be part of your -- >> you are. >> layla in nevada. hi, dave. >> hello. >> hello. >> please go ahead with your question or comment, we are listening. >> hi,day, i want to let you know that we have three generations of readers in our family, my mom reads your stuff and my son is really your columns to his sons and they are really enjoying them. [laughter] >> layla, did you have anything else you want to add?
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>> yeah, i was wondering, do yog miss writing for the weekly column at the miami harold? >> dave barry. >> i don't really miss writing the column. i mean, i still get to write columns sometimes when i really want to but i don't have toea every week write a column so i have more time to do books and since i stopped writing columns i have been able to do young adult fiction, more fiction, which has been more interesting to me. so i don't really miss the column, no. m >> we haven't talked about those books, what are those? what are you writing?those? >> sequentially numbered pages, no. what got me started was pearson. terrific writer, came to miami. this was like 12 years ago and the remainedders were playing a
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gig at the miami book fair. gig is a musical term or a thing when you play, this is like f sharp, these are musical terms. she asked, how did peter pan meet captain hook in the firstte place and really said, it's kind of an interesting thing. the book begins with a kid who can fly and never grows old, he has tinkerbell and captain hook. i thought it would be fun to write a prequell to it. >> i said, yeah. neither one of us had written anything for kids. we thought we were going write one short book. it was a 600-page book and
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disney published it and did very well and we ended up doing five of those. we did many events promoting the star catcher series, including one in this room. i have to tell you an anecdote l involving books&books. there's an end. itis. we were reading a section and the place was packed. there are kids all sitting on the floor. a couple hundred kids in the room. we were reading a scene from onm of our books that involved a gigantic snake and so mitchell kaplan who owns this bookstore,c knew that we were going the read that scene and didn't tell us this, but he hired a guy to bring in a snake. a snake rangler.
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if you need a snake, instead of entertaining the children, it could eat the children.dr this guy came in and i don't know how careful mitchell vetted him -- [laughter] >> but he had 80-pound, 9 ort or 10-foot python. he was tired of carrying it. it was heavy.av we did not know this was coming. i'm not a big snake guy to begin with. a snake kids, i hope we brought spare underwear to this reading. that happened in this very room. that was one of the low points of writing for kids. other than that, it's been a lot
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of fun. >> so you write about the everglades and best date ever and talk about the python population. >> yeah, we have an invasion of pythons going on here in south florida. they are not supposed to be here, they are supposed to be i, vermont. what happened people get them as pets. why do you want carnivorous and they let them go and they thriva . they don't have enemies out there.
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one of the great things florida did. came up with the idea to get rid of by means of python challenge. .. pythons and they have rules and pay a 25-dollar fee. we are not just letting anybody do this. online course, it is the way to go. they have rules of how they kill the python. i thought the best way would be to hack off its head but no, you are not allowed to do that. do you know why? fish and wildlife conservation, the python even if you hack its head off, the brain keeps
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thinking. they don't say what it's thinking. what the hell quacks do know. [laughing] but you're supposed to count by putting a bolt through its brain and that will stop it from thinking. anyway, they do this every year. the first year, i don't know if the released figures for any subsequent year. the first year, very mind the figures, talking tens if not hundreds of thousands of thesese things out there, the first thing they went out for a month and they killed 68 pythons. [laughing] do your math. a mom python can probably give birth to come i don't know, hundreds of eggs. so in other words, in the same period that we get 68 of them, they probably made thousands more. so we are losing the python challenge is my point. a pythons are winning. if we're going to change anything which a challenge in animal we can defeat. i propose manatees. [laughing]
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we establish we can beat them. not pythons. >> are you a fan of the everglades? >> i'm not. i marvel the people that go out there. can you not smell it? are you not being alive by mosquitoes? i don't know. i'm all for it. >> christie beckham tweets, dave, i have been your biggest fan forever, i saw you play at la times book festival? >> yeah, we are still playing sometimes. as i said, we are not good.
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hard-listening music. [laughter] >> when i say we, we play, i call it the ruimor med of music and the way it works everybody in the band is holding an instrument and playing something and if rumor goes around that there's been a cord change. [laughter] on we go. all random. we really enjoy it. i would do this to kill the whales. we don't, i have not killed any whales that i know of because whales don't listen to know. we still do play from time to time. we haven't played in a couple of years. for us it's a normal hiatus. [laughter] >> when are we going to get the remainders together. >> well, we are going to show our audience from 1998 the miami
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book fair here are the rock bottom. >> a tragic song that stephen king doesn't sing. [laughter] >> are we ready for this song? it's hard to tell. we are ready. now we are ready. you know who this is, don't you? we are going to tell you who this is, ready? ♪ ♪ ♪ >> is he picking you up after school? ♪ ♪ ♪
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[music] ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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♪ ♪ [music] ♪ ♪ ♪
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♪ ♪ [music]
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>> dave >> host: dave barry, that was truly awful. [laughing] >> guest: i want to apologize to the audience. i don't know why c-span -- do you have a broadcast license quacks that's brutal. first of all, that was amy singing lead of the back which is been a staple of the remainder from the beginning.dis i didn't see, we couldn't see here who was in the band, the configuration changes constantly. but one night we performed that song in new york city at aat a benefit concert and her husband
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usually plays the leader of the pac. he puts on a leather motorcycle jacket and one of those hats and he comes out and pretends to be riding a motorcycle. and then a moment in the song where he crashes, the big crash, lou would fall to the stage and we would all be sad. it was a drama. tried to take peoples minds off the actual music we're making. we are in new york and lou has gotten more and more dramatic with his fall, and this particular nike takes a spectacular dive to the stage and he's like, not only does he dive to the statement is writhing around like he is an great pain. i thought that was funny. i thought i will add amusementme to this visual by taking it. i walked over and kicked leo. and stephen king thought it was pretty funny so he was kicking little as his lying on the stage.ou
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the song finishes, blue cross off the stage and we finish the concert and the go backstage, and where is lou? he's in the hospital.the [laughing] it turns out when he dove to the stage he broke his collarbone, and we were kicking him while his lying there in pain. s kind n band we are. [laughter] >> we also showed viewers some of your favorite books and influences, i want to ask you a book about patrick o'brian. master in commander. >> it's kind of weird. i like semihistorical books. patrick o'brian wrote a series of books which developed and was made into a movie with russell crowe playing the main character, amazing books where the guy talks an incredible detail about sailing ships in
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the 18 -- 17th, 18th century, i think, and for some reason ri voting because the guy is such a good writer and he wrote ten or 12 of them. >> you're a bill fan? >> i like him a lot. i never met him. i think i read every book he has ever written. he's really funny and this is something i could never do. he's also very informative. when people read my books, they end up being a little stupider. i forget them all pretty quickly but i remember the little while thinking, i sort of understand molecules or whatever he's talking about. >> you won the pulitzer in 1988, have you won any since? >> no, have you win any since?
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[laughter] >> can i tell you my poster prize story because people say what's that like? first of all, it was a complete shock to me. i didn't expect it,i didn't think i was a finalist for it. i did, i won a pulitzer prize and it was nice because it happened early in my career that i never had to think about it. it happened unexpectedly and then it was over and i won it. the day i won it, the miami her -- herald, in the news room it's a big deal, pulitzer day and they wanted it to be a surprise, they were notified earlier in the day that i had won and michael had won, they wanted us to come in for the moment so it'll be a surprise for us and i that day had been planning, it was a friday, i believe, had been planning to go to key west
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and i told me son rob who was then 7 year's old, we are going to key west and he was very excited. he loved to go to key west because we always rented a scooter, he loved to go to key west. he was exciting that we were going to go to key west. i get a call and said we you have to come for a meeting, he said, nope, janet, the editor said you have to be at this meeting, it's an important meeting and i go, so, okay, tell rob we are going to key west but first we have to go to the herald, downtown. so we get there and the news room is all gathered around the machine for the big announcement. i remember say to go rob, this is cool, you're going to see announcing pulitzers today. i still didn't know it was me. i thought it was cool and he was going to see this moment and i figured that's why i had been called in there and want everybody for it and about 30 seconds before the announcement an editor who didn't know that was supposed to be a surprise
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came up to me and shook my hand and said congratulations, one i was going to win a pulitzer, two, that we weren't going to be able to go to key west because there's a whole lot of stuff you have to do and so i looked down at rob who is standing there. rob, i have bad news. we are not going to key west this weekend and his face just fell but i will get you a nintendo because he had been dying to get this nintendo game. i was being a good dad. he says, really, and i said, yes, he jumped up appear put his arms around me and hugged me really tight because of the nintendo and at that moment janet read that i had won a pulitzer prize and they took my picture, the next day the cover of the miami herald with me and rob with a huge smile on his face and everybody said the same thing to me, which is it's so
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great that your son was so excited. [laughter] >> he had no idea about the pulitzer prize. he was happy about the nintendo. anyway, but fast-forward till a couple of years ago, my son rob who is now grown man and has a kid of his own is a reporter at the wall street journal and he was on a team of reporters that did a story medicare fraud that won a pulitzer prize. see that. i didn't destroy them completely. >> back to your calls for dave barry and this is sue in gatesfield, texas. >> good afternoon, hey, dave, i've been a fan for a long time. you know me on the block as susie. i have a couple of questions about your new book. you have a new book coming out on tuesday, i think, called for this we love egypt, a passover
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for jews and those who love them . first, my question is how do you three guys get together and write a book rice -- like this, i'm not jewish and what's in this book for me? [laughter] >> okay, first of all, you're correct, i cowrote a book -- i don't know how many of our audiences know what hagada is, but on passover jews hold dinners which they commemorate the escape of the jewish people from egypt and it's a ritualized meal with various things symbolizing elements of the -- the exodus. anyway, this is usually accompanied by this book called jagada.
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it leads you through, there's prayers and discussions of why you eat this and why you eat that. so a guy name adams mansback who an author among other things who wrote a book whose title i cannot reveal even on c-span, i don't think, it goes the f to sleep, huge best-selling book and he and alan, friend of mine who i also wrote a book with once called lunatics. it was adam's idea cowrote a parody of hagada. i am also not jewish. my wife is cuban jewish. there's a lot of them in miami. my joke is they didn't come on rafts, they parted the craib -- caribbean. because of my wife is jewish, i
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was -- i was into this project and the question is in it for you, i don't know, but loyalties are in it for me. [laughter] >> by all means, susie, you should buy it. >> 202 if you want participate in our conversation. for those of east and central times zones, 478-2001. do we have any questions from the audience? wait for the mic and let's bring the mic up here. we have one here in the front row. >> hi, dave, i'm george. i just had a couple of comments. as a resident of florida 20 years more than you, i can definitive i will say that we were completely sane until you showed up. [laughter] >> it was my fault. all right. i will accept that. >> and now back to the holiday
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situation -- [laughter] >> my sister was at the coral gables congregation and she won an electric finger that shaves the hair and she regifted it and she gave me the finger. he gave me the finger for christmas and i'm blaming you for that. >> that's right. [laughter] >> well, i'm glad to have helped. >> well, let's go back to our calls then. hi, laurie. >> hello, hi, how are you? >> good, go ahead and ask your question or make your comment. >> yes. when you decided you wanted to write a book and where should you send your book to get
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reviewed and appreciate it? >> so just to clarify, you wrote a book? >> no, i am working on one now. i'm a widow. i have two 20-year-olds and things like that. i can't hear you because they told me to turn the tv down, so i'm not really sure what you're say to go me right now. >> yeah, you'll be able to hear through telephone. dave barry is going to talk so if you can just hang on and we will listen to him. >> well, if i gather the question is how do you go about getting a book published and then how do you get it reviewed and how do you get get it distributed, there are basically two ways to go and i hope i don't offend anybody when i say the way not to go is to self-publish. i say that because it's easy to do.
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many people do it. you pay money and they publish your book, the problem with that is almost impossible to get a self-published book distributed anywhere, reviewed anywhere, so many of them out there and there's basically no quality control. i'm not saying that they are bad. i'm just saying the way the industry is set up for better or for worse, people don't review them. bookstores don't stock them, so you end up with a stack of books in your garage and you can maybe sell them to your friends but that's as far as it would go. unfortunately, that's the way it is. maybe i'm behind the times, maybe there's some internet way and i assume there is to get your books known and if there is i retract everything i just said. i'm just saying from what my experience is. so the way you -- the traditional way to go and there are a lot of flaws in it and people have been critical of it is to get an agent.
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agents are kind of like the gatekeepers. most of the time will tell you they won't take you on, but they get it to a publisher and that's the second gatekeeper and then editor there will either decide to publish it or not publish it. the advantage of that is if they do decide to publish it, an organization that has sales staff, has promotional people, they can get your people distributed, they can get your book reviewed, maybe, a more professional job than most writers are able to do for themselves. that said, i know there are people particularly in science fiction who are able to reach huge audiences some way i don't know about and get a huge amount of cult interest in a book that's maybe self-published. i should stress that. the way i described it is the way the traditional way maybe
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that -- it's more difficult and less likely but -- >> do you still write every day? >> yeah, i write every day. almost every day of the week i will write something. >> is wikipedia valuable to you? >> yes. although i've learned learned from reading my wikipedia entry that it's highly inaccurate but i will use it like if somebody stole -- i'm dead in wikipedia. no. i use it because it's cheap and easy and fast and it's general and i have learned if you want to nail down, confirm it with some other source besides wikipedia because you never know. >> what's inaccurate about the entry on you and did you have any input in that? >> no, there are people i know
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who are always trying to fix things. the last time i looked at wikipedia it made two huge points about me, one is that i'm a libertarian and one that i'm an atheist. this is true. i don't write about politics directly. i don't advocate anything and i never write about religion, really, except generic jokes, but somebody who thought that was great, at least the way i read it, it made it sound that what i am an libertarian atheist writer. you can argue what i am but that's not what i do and do not think myself as and i don't know people reading would ever know or care about. i'm an atheist. >> and you belong to a temple? >> and you're an atheist.
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>> my dad was a wonderful guy. he was not a -- what's the word? it's not the word that i'm looking for. we are not that at all. he wasn't rigid. friends of all different faiths and the important thing for him is were you good or bad, not what church you went to. i i had long passionate arguments where i would get him to order me to be religious and he wouldn't. it's okay, you don't have to, i do. he was pretty easy-going about it. my dad was a presbyterian minister. i'm an atheist and probably going hell. [laughter] >> safe bet. fortunately and boy, will i be surprised. boy, i was so wrong about this.
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my bad, i will be saying to the devil. >> how you became libertarian? >> my assumption had been that people who go into government go into government because they want to help people and kind of like immediately when i started meeting political people, they often delightful likable people and some good people but generally i found that politics and government was really no different from any company that most of the people are in it were in for personal reason, power or money or both, or whatever and at every -- at each next level up, heading towards federal government and the presidency, i found it to be more the case. you're really involved in washington politics, my guess is you're not really involved in politics because you want me to have a happier life, is because
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you want something. and so over the years i came to the conclusion is i would rather me make decisions about my life and you make decisions about your life and then have somebody in washington pretend to go care about me. that's generally the position i take. i'm not a hard-core libertarian. i'm okay with -- i live in coral gables where we have zoning laws. illegally to do everything except breathe. i'm not -- but i'm not like in your face libertarian guy but my philosophy is generally if i have to choose before more government involvement and less government involvement in human activity i favor it less which means i'm not very big on drug laws, not very big on laws against who can carry whom. that kind of thing.
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>> have you ever met any u.s. presidents? >> yeah. i met both george bush's, i met bill clinton, i never met barack obama. i've been in the room with him but i never actually met him. abraham lincoln. [laughter] >> i was just a kid. >> on what occasions did you meet these? >> well, okay, george bush, the senior, how much time do we have? [laughter] >> i was -- i was at a -- i have to start with the previous anecdote. i was writing columns about the new hampshire primary in 1992 so i was on the campaign trail and barbara bush was on going around and i thought, for a column i would spend the day depressed
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entourage with mrs. bush. we were going all around new hampshire in a mote -- motorcade and at the end of the day there's a big event and we ended up with mrs. bush and the press on stage getting picture taken and i said to her, the most embarrassing thing. she didn't know me and i didn't know her, she blurted out, i shop at the same super market as your son jeb. she was like who gives a shit. and i said, really embarrassed and i said he's very tall. [laughter] >> one of those things where you just wish you would shut up and she goes, well, he didn't just grow this year. awkward moment and then a few months later i was in washington, d.c. at the correspondence dinner where i spoke. he was the president.
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and there's a little -- little room off stage where the people gather and he was there and i remember going, i have this vivid memory of my mind embarrassing myself in front of his wife, mrs. bush, and i'm telling myself i'm not kidding, don't be an idiot, don't be an idiot. a ryan to go up to meet him. shake his hand and i go, i shop at the same super market -- i blurted it out. he was really interested. [laughter] >> he was much different reaction from his wife. that's how i met him. [laughter] >> they have a big banquet every year in houston, fundraiser, i was invited and this was after senior bush was no longer
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president. but we ia wife went for lunch and i ended up sitting next to him at the dinner. i met him that way. bill clinton, i met him before he became president but i will never forget what he did -- this is why he became president, really, not because of me. it was a new hampshire again '92 and he's running for president, night before the primary vote and i'm with a bunch of columnists and reporters and we all drenched in this campaign. we were sick of it. we all had written story for the next day, column for the next day, there's no chance we are going to see a candidate or anybody involved in politics. just us, we are going to -- so we go to this italian restaurant. we are going to be the last
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party there and we are sitting in the table. the door opens walks bill clinton, myers and gwen and myers is press secretary. he's still campaigning. he comes in with energy, it's like he goes, he waves at us and goes into the kitchen and you could see him going around shaking hands. comes out shaking all the staff, goes around the table and he knew who every single person at the table was including me, i don't know. and then he walks out out into the night and he charmed us. wow. he knew where we were and he came up. so that was bill -- a couple of times when he was in the white house i was at an event where he was shaking hands. but that was really -- i was like, michael jordan-level politician.
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that's still that very few people have that he had. next call for dave comes from gay in adamstown, maryland. >> i'm a big fan of yours and i wanted to say that i appreciate your ironic sense of humor and since you live in florida, that must give you lots of for your books and i wonder if, maybe you could relay a story that i read in one of your books, it was a while ago but it -- i think it was titled path logs dog and it was about your dogs and your porch or the absence of. >> yes. this is hurricane andrew 199 the which -- 1992 which was the worst hurricane i had been through that went through my house.
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i had two large dogs, ernst and small emergency backup dog named zippy, before hurricane andrew came i let ernst and zippy out every morning and as you know if you are a dog owner, dogs get excited about going out in the morning. they learn whatever the ritual is associated with it. oh, my god, i'm going to go out even though you do it every day. with ernst and zippy you would open the back door and we had a patio with screen enclosure which you need down here from mosquitoeses from pilling patio. they would run across the patio to the screen door and wait for me there. we did that every day for years, comes hurricane andrew and the screen closure is orbiting the earth, okay, it's gone but the
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screen door was still there. just a door on the end of the porch with nothing around it at all. it was like a two-week learning curve, i'm not making this up. i would open the back door and they would run straight to the door and wait because that was the procedure. get it open. go out in the yard. so i wrote so many columns about ernst and zippy and they basically all boiled down that these are not rocket scientists, these dogs. i wrote about them a lot because they were always in my office and typically i don't know why, i worked with the door closed and the door would be closed and ernst would be on one side often the inside and stipe outside and they would just basically lie there all day long and so over and over this would happen and i think there's a satellite, i call the dog satellite that
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passes over ted and makes sounds that only dogs can hear. you have a dog, there's nothing going on, nothing going on in your house or neighborhood, nothing going on anywhere and suddenly one of the dog wills go woof. so we would be sitting there, i would be tapping away on my keyboard and suddenly one would jump off and the other would hear that and say something is going on and woof. now they are barking each trying to get on the other side and i have to get and open the door. they are gone now but i still have a dog. in fact, my current book that i'm writing is about dogs and i have a dog named lucie who is a little smarter than ernst and zippy. she's more a dog about smells,
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but, yeah, it's a book about dogs. >> when will it becoming out? >> i have to write it first. i'm just getting started on it. >> next call for dave barry comes from buck in north carolina, plead go -- please go ahead. >> dave, i met you in miramar when you were doing interview there and i just remembered that you dressed all in black, drove a black car and i got your autograph and that was out of university drive that i pulled a 200-pound turtle in the middle of the street or alligator. i was there for the caish cowboys and read your article every week and i just wanted to say, please bring the flag, do
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you have any comments on that? >> those days are long past. not really, the 200-pound turtle gets my attention. it was in the street, you say. we have that occasional gigantic shouldn't be there reptile. but the reptile's position is no, you shouldn't be here. guys who have spent their lives roaming the swamp. is old florida disappearing? >> yes, my book about florida starts with an essay with dave who runs the headquarters out in middle of everglades. like a dot, people just zip by on route 41, but it's skunk,
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theoretically roams the everglades and nobody gets a clear picture of even though everybody has a phone. he has a skunk research headquarters and my goal when i went out there was to make fun of it. i think it's kind of fun but when i got out there and got to hang around with this guy dave schully for a while, i was kind of moved by -- you know, this is -- this is a group of people who lived out there since, you know, 50 years ago. they had a community. it really was a real little community, they lived and roamed the everglades and everything. now the federal government is taking over and wants them off the land. it's really to let the indian americans stay, but not the --
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not the anglos, they have to go. but that's a real part of florida and, you know, they are being told you don't belong, you can't be here anymore which i think is kind of a ashame. that kind of set the tone for the rest of the book which is -- i tried to be funny in the book and i hope the book is funny but there is an element that the florida that a lot of people grew up with down here is disappearing, typically now when people come to florida many, many people that go either to a resort to orlando and go to theme park, and they don't see much else of florida. there used to be the florida when i was a kid when we drove down was a completely different florida, there was no interstate, no theme parks, million roadside attractions that, you know, were cheesy, a
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lot like the skunk research headquarters to be honest. but that was a real part of florida and people would be driving, you know, a couple of hours and they would see a sign, you know, the world's largest snail or something and they would pull off and something to look at, something to do. in florida that was the big industry down here. now it's mostly gone. i went to one of the places wick -- we are paying for mermaids. [laughter] >> and, you know, they breath
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out of hoses. if it wasn't for the state of florida, they wouldn't be there altogether. i went to a place called spongeorama, devoted to the sponge trade. it hasn't stayed for 50 years, but those places aren't going to last, it's going to basically be the magic kingdom and resorts. i guess that's the way it's going to be but we are losing kind of -- florida was always a different state and that was one of the things that made it differently, all the roadside attractions. they are mostly now. >> great fun reading his books and i wanted to ask him about, dave, what do you think -- you
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mentioned having won a pulitzer and i know miranda won a pulitzer. to see it seems great because i used to teach and kids are learning through the use of own music and culture that they have nowadays, i thought it was great because minorities are promoted in this. you know, i wonder what had you thought number one on hamilton, if you've seen or or if you heard the music from it, i'm not a fan of rap but do i like hamilton and i wonder what you thought about the fact that they have a cast that's made up of all different minorities of people, just what do you think about this whole thing? >> very much, let's hear from dave barry on this.
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>> i have not seen hamilton. i would love to see it. everybody says it's incredible. i think it's kind of wonderful the idea -- if you would have told people ten years ago that the biggest play, the biggest show on broadway is going to be rap musical about alexander hamilton he would assume you were taking drugs and in my case it would be right. but, no. i think that's fantastic and i agree with you that it's great if it gets interested in history, but, yeah, have you seen it? >> you and -- >> i understand it's really hard to get tickets and really expensive. >> any questions here in the audience in weave got somebody back here. >> my name is scott. it's interesting that you
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mentioned religion earlier because i went to college at florida state and the tallahassee democrat, the local paper carried your column every sunday and as a very poor college student i would splurge on sunday newspaper to read your column. >> thank you. >> i remember one column in particular you poked fun at basketball players who do the sign of the cross before free throws and you kind of poked fun of them a little bit and i thought it was hilarious and my boss who i worked part-time job had never heard of you so i showed him that column, he was very religious man and he was mortified. and i'm sorry that i blew a potential fan in him but my question is, what would you consider your most controversial column or got the most feedback from? >> well, first of all, we actually discussed that earlier, that was a column about religion and i was contrasting people. i said everybody's religion seems stupid for somebody else.
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for example, we don't think anything of the fact that people make a cross before they take a foul shot. in india we are mocking this guy who says you should drink your own urine. they make the cross -- anyway. that did come up and i'm sorry i offended your boss but he sounds like an idiot. i'm sure he was a great guy. [laughter] >> okay. the most controversial, man, there's been a few. but i would say the one that got the most mail of anything that i ever wrote, that was not the point of the column when i suggested and i'm going to say this, before i say this i want to stress i no longer think this. i said that maybe niel dimanon was not the best lyracist.
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to no one there and no one heard it at all not even the chair. these are furniture. anyway, that wasn't the point of the column at all. it was like i never liked that song because of that of that lyric. you think salmon rusty got in trouble. i got all this mail from people saying, how dare you criticize this genius niel diamond. i listen and it cured and passionate. i thought that was great. when you're writing a column, when somebody hands you something to write about. i wrote another column about specifically the niel diamon
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people and how they had been offended and quoted a bunch of the letters and that set off a new round of letters from people who agreed with me and wanted to back me up on the niel diamon lyrics. people don't want to ever hear on the radio and then that just opened a flood gates for the next few weeks i received over 10,000 letters. this is back in the days of letters. over 10,000 letters on the song that people hate, i wrote a book of bad songs and people till this day will come up to me and said you know the song about the horse with no name, i hate that song. [laughter] >> the late comedian rich had great lines, you're in the desert you have nothing to do, name the freaken horse. [laughter]
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>> that one really set him off. i also once wrote a column that in which i made fun of north dakota and which was a huge mistake. don't mess with north dakota. they invited me up there in january, dedicated a sewage lifting station in my honor. you go to north dakota for any reason, such as your plane has crashed there, there's a station, lift station number 16, a tourist attraction, i have to say. that one -- >> did you go to the dedication? >> i did. >> why did they name it after you? >> i had made fun of north dakota and they were getting even with me. it was coldest i had ever been. it was below zero. they put a sign on the building and the mayor -- an actual crowd
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showed up and we are freezing in building and the mayor reads proclamation comparing my work to the production of human and they had me tear the piece of paper off and seeing my name on the side of the building and seeing sewage in north dakota air, i'm hearing the sound of people applauding in mittons. >> were there any places in florida where you wanted to visit and write about but for logistics, time, et cetera, you could not get to include? >> yeah, i didn't get to attend -- there's lots of places. i never got to the florida panhandle, north florida. i enjoyed it.
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i enjoyed going to places and writing about them, usually i'm sitting at home making things up. so it's fun to go go to actually see a place, take notes an then makes things up about it. no, they actually have something to write about. >> can you go incarnito? >> yeah. but not the kind of fame where i get mobbed. i went to a place called the villages which is amazing. just amazing community in north central florida, a couple of hundred thousand retirees dancing and partying and having a good time. and i got recognized a few times there, so -- >> next call for dave barry comes from isabel in middleton, wisconsin, hi, isabel.
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>> hi. >> hello. >> we are listening. >> okay, i have a question for dave. you haven't picked on gray-haired old ladies in retirement homes yet. you missed a huge, huge great place to pick up laughs. >> well, i actually kind of did a little bit in this section we were talking about the villages. but i haven't really done retirement home humor and that's probably because i'm personally being close to being in a retirement home and i don't want anybody to be too offended. i have a -- well, i have a story about a retirement home. my wife's grandfather, he's passed away but his name was henry kaufman and when he was in his 90's, he was born in
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poland and then moved to cuba and was there for a while, spoke many different languages, wonderful guy but he was in a retirement and my wife and i used to go visit him regularly and henry always wore a jacket and tie, gentleman of that age tended to and he would sit at the same table with three other gentlemen wearing jackets and ties at meal time and we would come visit them and henry would always do the same thing, we would come up and recognize, you know, his granddaughter, my wife, michelle, and he wanted to -- he always we wanted to introduce us. this is my granddaughter and this is my grandson in-law. he's a very famous writer, he's name is -- what is your name again? [laughter] >> dave barry.
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he knew i wrote but he never read anything i wrote. he always wanted to know -- he was in the clothing business. he wanted to know how sales were doing. i have a picture and he went door to door -- [laughter] >> that might be good for humor and the ideal would be that they would forget everything i said. [laughter] >> are you even allowed to make that joke anymore? probably not. >> dave barry, i thought the worst class trip ever was hilarious, what was that first of all and then she goes on, lucinda goes onto say, what made you write a kids' book? >> the other one is called the worst night ever. both middle school books that i wrote on my own for disney and the worst class trip ever, what inspired me to write it was when my daughter was in middle
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school, she went on a class trip and they had parent chaperons and i remember thinking, there's something wrong when an institution lets me be responsible for these children. things could get really bad, you know, idiot like me in a position of responsibility, so i came up with a plot where his kid goes to washington, d.c. on his class trip and as we say in the comedy high jinx and sue but one book to write and kids seemed to like it. >> and if we have another question from the audience here? there's a gentleman back here, go ahead, sir. >> not really a question, but your book guy to guy is favorite book, funniest book i have ever read in my life. >> thank you. >> i just want to talk about one thing in there, there's one section where the four guys got really, really drunk and they lived near a ski slope.
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[laughter] >> yeah. >> they decided to go down the ski slope in the canoe. ski slope in a canoe. >> they go off the ski jump.go not just going down, going down a slope is one going down sd jump -- and was in florida. we don't have snow in florida. you have done no research. [laughing] spirit they go off the ski jump in the police afterwards who were investigating the accident obviously in the came across and or. spirit where did they come across it? things that only guys do. i read, things that guys do, the history of the world, no woman t has ever thought i want to go off a ski jump in a canoe. whereas guys, with that in effort find dozens of guys who would be willing to do it. the other one i would say, the test between men and women, is go to youtube and google the
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phrase shoot bottle rocket out of ass. [laughing] can i say ass? but shoot bottle rocket out of but. you will find dozens if not hundreds of videos of that very thing. it goes without saying.woev no woman ever would think to do that. many, many guys have got to do that. i do say that young guys. older guys don't, i don't think. >> rich is in middleburgh is i florida. you are on with author and humorist dave barry. this is booktv on c-span2 and we are listening. >> caller: hi, dave.e. nice to talk to you again. just two quick questions. one was come is ever going to be a movie version lunatics? it's one of my all-time favorite novels, humorous novels, right up there with the hitchhikers guide to the galaxy.
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and two, talk collaborations, have you ever thought about collaborating with stephen king for a comedy horror novel? >> well, as to the first, no. i don't think there will be a movie of lunatics. we did sell the script but that doesn't mean anything in thed world of hollywood whether by scripps all the time for movies they don't intend to make. .. we wrote a screen play for it and they've bought it but that's as far as that went. although it was a lot of fun to write that book. i would love to write a book with stephen king or have my name on a book with stephen king, he can write it but i don't think steven -- i don't think he needs any help from me, let me put it that way. i thought about calling some of my books, you know, something, not to give away secrets but you emailed him before the show. >> yes.
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steven and i, he is part of the rock-bottom remainders, the band that plays sometimes. and at this very bookstore in the men's room right next to the urinal is a poster of the rock body remainders in 1993 when we came for the book association. so that was funny and it took a picture of it showing the urinal and the poster of the band. and assented to a bunch of members of the band and steve are affected from a critical standpoint the most appropriate place to put that. >> another one of your favorite books your killer angels. >> i love historical fiction. because it is so different from what i do it is a real release for me. this is a book about the battle of gettysburg. i read in the 70s i think.
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not long after was published. and i mean it is one of the best written books i've ever read on anything it made me so fascinated with gettysburg. you know while i was reading it, i started planning a trip. and then i went to gettysburg and spent a couple of days there just walking around. all of the places they talk about in the book. and ever since then, and his vibe about gettysburg. going to go there and hang around there. it is one of those kind of eerie most spiritually moving places in the united states because of what happened there because of how thoroughly documented it was. so i just love that book. and i ended up reading a whole bunch historical fiction because of it. >> is there a series book in you? >> no. i have written some serious columns usually meant something
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bad happens. when my dad died and when my mom committed suicide i wrote about those. when my son was hit by a car and - that was really tough. but those were the few times risa had a point to make. you know he's not heavy helmet on. as not to get too melodramatic but the day night i was in the hospital with him to other kids came in and they did not make it. all three were boys who had been riding bikes i got hit by cars and not wearing helmets. my son was the only one who lived. so you know, i wrote about that. and people like those columns and some people said, i mean i heard what was especially the one about my mom. why don't you write more serious columns? i really like that. i said the i reserve reckless columns is because something horrible had happened that i needed to deal with to process by writing about it. i don't want more things like that.
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i am not going to make stuff like that that is horrible. i would rather not dwell on the bad things. >> the next call for mr. barry. susie from montana. good afternoon presenting -- >> good evening. -- >> not for children to watch. [laughter] how are you doing? how is paul? >> he went to meet his maker 10 years ago. >> sorry! casual me to just toss that out there. you some of you are still alive and that is important. >> yes, i am 80. and the boys are here to celebrate with me. >> now what was it like living next door to david barry?
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if you can share a story with us. >> oi code, many. but i won't. [laughter] we have dog stories and his pulitzer that he gave us. he wrote stories about playing golf with my husband. and my dog, the aircraft carrier and i just wanted to say that he send in the road to little dribbling and he forgot to mention -- when you come to religion and matt's daughter introduced me to the preludes to peter pan. which i thoroughly enjoyed. >> susie thank you for calling
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in. a lot of inside baseball talk. and i feel bad about quality not know he passed away. he was a banker and a golfer. and to be honest golf is the stupidest sport ever. but he kept trying to get me there. and the -- what i like to do is drive a golf cart and drink beer. the part we tried to find the stupid ball after you hit it, i don't get that at all. >> speaking of sports i would say you will find the ball and i will sit here. >> knew right about visiting brazil for the world cup everything i read about brazil, is it true?
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>> i love brazil. i went there for the world cup and again for the olympics. the thing is, when you say you're going to brazil - if you leave -- if you live in miami you know brazilians. and when you say you're going to brazil there was a don't wear any jewelry, don't carry any money but you will love it! and you will probably be robbed at gunpoint. so carry, i am not kidding. you should carry a fake wallet to give them. you know a little throwing money to give them and hide your real money in yourself. you know and so, i got there first and my daughter and my wife were there. so i had like all these secret pockets and ahead money ready to give them. like any design that came 10 feet of me i was throwing money at them. they didn't even have to show
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me. as a picture of a knife and i would have - nothing like that happened everybody was so nice. so you know these americans were coming off of the plane and it would've been the easiest thing in the world for them to get money. and you have college students out there looking for work. >> davis calling from west palm beach florida.>> hi dave how are you doing? a big fan. i first discovered you on --. i know you are a big walking dead fan. i'm just wondering if you think the show -- and how do you think that movies and zombie movies have the influence on your writing anyway? >> as far as the walking dead i am a fan.
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the only question i have about the walking dead is that these people have been walking around dead for seven years now. welcome their clothes have not all fallen off? they shall be naked. and that is unrealistic. we need more realism. what was the other question? >> have horror movies influenced makeweight not really except in making fun of. i grew up in the age of really cheesy horror movies like all the godzilla movies. i love them as a kid.but i just make fun of them. now our movies are really horrible. so generally don't watch them. >> how much attention do you pay to what goes on in washington? >> speaking of horror movies! [laughter] a lot. i mean i read the new york times, the miami herald and the wall street journal everyday. i watch t.v. and but i do not write about it much. i save it for a year in review that i do every year. but i pay attention.
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>> we have got a few minutes left with our guest david barry here and books and books. >> hello, big fan. i like your writing style a lot. and another person i'm really fond of is the ãi think you guys seem to be cut from the same satirical cloth. i wonder if you guys are buddies, do you hang out or correspond? >> yes pj is a friend. he lives in new hampshire. i do not see him that often. but we are friends, we do correspond and have very funny emails and mom are in the same area we get adult beverage and discuss issues. >> is a very funny guy and a nice guy.
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james from california. >> james, are you with us? >> yes. dave i am not making this up. you do have fans in california. by the way, one of your favorite parts of the book is when you say i am not making this up. then we know something amazing is an humerus is coming out. one question, you wrote in a hilarious book david barry transporting and david barry turns 50. he skipped 60, i noticed your turning 70 this year. will you write david barry turns 70? >> i want to write about dogs. [laughter] i kind of got on i mean everything i write more or less ends up being involved
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with me getting old because i'm very aware of that. but i am writing a book about dogs and the premise of the book is i have a 10-year-old dog named lucy. she and i are both turning 70. and she in dog years me and human years. there will be the premise of the book. venue more about it i would tell you more but i have been writing on television with this guy for hours.[laughter] so i don't have to write anything anymore. >> i think you have turned 75 sitting here. [laughter] >> de feel 70? >> i don't know. you know i am so i must, right? i don't think anybody really believes inside that there is old as you really are. i really notice it is, i went to my high school reunion last summer. what was it? 50 something, 50th.
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you walk in there and you are like oh my god who are these people? [laughter] and their lurching around to some song by freddie and the dreamers. and you like oh my gosh you realize that is you, that is who you are. you cannot deny it. so yeah, i guess i am.i feel older. especially when i get down on the ground and try to get back up. it's like almost impossible. i used to do it very easily. now i can't. >> any other audience questions before the back to phone calls and five i see no hands. let's hear from michelle in texas. >> hi dave, thank you so much for your work and for doing this program.i just wanted to mention one of my favorites of your book is david barry's guide to guys.
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it was great, thank you. >> that book remained popular. basically the premise that it was for women but basically says it is kind of like having a relationship with a labrador retriever.having a relationship with a guy. the whole point of the book to women is to lower your standards. it seems to resonate. [laughter] >> audrey, maine. >> hi guys! every time i see crabgrass dave i think of you. i just love it. i just have a quick question. i want to, i have been wondering why why were you on the oscars? essay several years on the oscars and you were there and i was like there is david barry at the oscars! >> i know that i was on them but i wrote for the oscars twice. when steve martin was the host. i was one of the writers.i do
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not know that i was ever on camera at the oscars. if i was, it was a horrible mistake. because i was supposed be backstage although i did have a tuxedo. maybe they just thought it looked good. >> is a part of that temporary rock bottom remainders? >> steve martin has in fact been on stage with us briefly but he is a really good musician. [laughter] and he is a really smart guy. so he knows better than to stay on stage with us. we have had however, on stage with us roger methuen of the birds many times. he performs know that guy, bruce springsteen. he played with the rockbottom remainders one time. and warren -- performed with us a lot. we had some real musicians but never rubbed off on us. >> where did the name come from? >> well the remainder is a book
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that does not sell. usually hardcover book. and they have a lot left over. so they don't print more than they need. so they put it in the bin notice of 1999 it is you know $0.99. and those are called remainders. so it's kind of a title making fun of ourselves. called the rockbottom remainders. >> wayne from georgia.>> how are you doing? i'm sorry i tuned in a little late so if you cover this before. can you please it is again? can you share your web address and if you have ever been to georgia and if not why not? >> first bite whether just google my name or go to david
11:47 am i've been to georgia, does that count? i don't know. i've been there yes it's great. [laughter] in>> jane in olympia, washington. before we hear from jane, do you blog every day? >> yes i do. my blog is not really, i do not write much for it but people send me stuff. in this kind is a holdover from when i had a newspaper column and often i would write about items people would send in. even if i stop writing my column peoples send me stuff so i put on the blog. so for toilet explodes anywhere in the world it probably is on my blog. this happens more than you might think. look down before you go to the bathroom. i throw a lot of stuff on there, i do not write a lot though for it.
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>> you spent any time at schools? teaching seminars? >> sometimes when i, when i have a book out for kids we will go on a tour and i will go to various schools. and it's always an interesting thing. kids are not like, kids are not worshipful of authors. for example from a school here in miami. i gave a presentation on a book and basically have the author here and then a girl raised her hand for question. and then she said you know you have big wet stains in your armpits? [laughter] and of course i did. kids are so truthful. so i had her expelled. [laughter] now, i didn't. we just use a cattle prod and it was done. that's wrong, don't do that. >> jane, olympia washington thank you for holding you are on with david barry. >> hi, i am a long-term fan. i enjoyed the show so far.
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i'm fascinated to hear of your fondness of historical novels. and i was wondering what you think, if you think anything at all or if you would ever read the, you are aware of the phenomena and had never read the outlander series? >> no, i have not. sorry. it is not really historical novel, is it? >> some people think it is, yeah. >> isn't science fiction? >> oh, no. no it is about scottish revolution and all of that sort of stuff. >> all right thank you jane. >> i'm sorry i do not know about that. >> what are you reading right now? what is at your bedside? >> i just finished -- goes back
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again and bunch of books about dogs because i'm writing about dogs. >> time for a few more calls good this is carolyn alabama. >> hi dave is going to be talking to you. i noticed that you're going to be the judge next year for the -- writing contest. i've tried my best, i did not win last time. so i am wondering if you might have a tip on winning or maybe you can give me like a secret word so you would know it was me and then you could know until everybody what a great writer i am. what do you think? >> that is carol and albert-- f
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california.>> the best way would probably for you to send me some currency. no, i was fortunate enough to know irma and she was one of, not only was she funny writer but she was a really funny person. so i was honored to be asked to do this. i hate doing it though. i hate doing contests and i have judging. i don't do this. people always ask me they say will i wrote this will you read it? and i don't. because i want to be nice and so i never want to say anything even if i don't like it i don't want to say that. and i really don't have time to do it but this you know they asked me to do this because it was for irma baumbach's organization. but it would be difficult because inevitably it comes down to what you think, what you like, what you find amusing. which is not necessarily the
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same as everyone else on the world. i am sure that i do receive money from that lady in the mail, she will get a special book. it has made a lot of money. [laughter] >> david barry - i do not mean this in a negative way but how much work went into that. >> i will take exactly what i did. when my son was i don't know, seven or eight years old had a babysitter. she would come over with her schoolbooks. she was a high school student. i started reading her history textbook. and i thought it was hilarious. it was not meant to be funny but it was like, every single thing that ever happened they had to make sure there was one woman and one minority group involved. and even if they really had to force it in there. and so i started to write a parody and it was easy. and basically just took that
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book and paradise did and it became this book. >> i'm just wondering if there is a lots of free association or free thought in this. >> no thought, no. >> you say the highest ranking officer is the president elected to a four-year term after three years on the campaign in which he is required to state is a vision and plan supervised leadership. there primary duties are to get on helicopters, complain about compress and go abroad -- >> that is the job of the president. >> how long would it take to read that paragraph? >> i don't know! i was a 43 minutes. the separation of power. >> this one is a little longer. create the system of checks and balances. which protects everybody by ensuring that any acts taken by one part of the government will be rendered utterly meaningless by an equal and opposite reaction from some other part.
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>> that is not even a joke. [laughter] >> okay gary and jefferson city missouri. we are listening. >> i enjoy your writing. you mentioned not being particularly political but i remember some very insightful pieces he wrote about the federal deficit. i think we could probably all stand some comic relief from what is going on these days in washington. would you consider updating some of those and making it a little more current for us? i know we would all appreciate that. >> i have thought about it. this would be a good time probably to go to d.c. because it is crazy right now.and i might do that and go up there and write about it. just to do it. i have two get them to let me into the white house. [laughter] if there's anyone watching in the white house - i would be probably making fun of him.
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>> one time for one more call for david barry. this is stu from florida. >> i was wondering if you told teachers or principles where you were going after school? thank you. >> i will say this. i was something of a wise ass in school. i did have some discipline issues sometimes because, not because i was bad exactly but because they felt the need to entertain the other students. and more than once i was told by a teacher that it is very funny david but you cannot joke your way through life. [laughter] [applause] turns out that isn't true, you can. you are kind of the underachiever among your siblings aren't you?
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>> yes because i'm never doing productive work, yes. >> have some relatively prominent siblings.which, who would they be? >> i know all of my siblings by heart. relatively prominent does not mean i love them. three of them but - who do you think i am? [laughter] >> i looked at your wikipedia page. >> that might have been it. >> david barry has been our guest here at books and books in coral gables florida. appreciate your time. we appreciate you all coming out to see this. dave barry talks back came out in 1992. dave barry does japan 1993, dave barry is not making this up 94, 1997 came dave barry's greatest hits. dave barry slept here 1997.
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another book with the name dave barry hits below the beltway in 2002. dave barry's money secrets in 2006. >> why are you doing this? >> dave barry's history of the millennium so far came out in 2007. his most recent book, i will mature when i'm dead came out about seven years ago. live right and find happiness came out two years ago. finally, his most recent best state ever, a florida man defends his homeland. you are watching booktv on c-span2 and this has been in-depth. thank you. >> thank you too, it has been my pleasure. >> you are watching booktv on c-span2 with top nonfiction books and authors every weekend.
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booktv, television for serious readers. this weekend i'm booktv on c-span2 we are live nine annual -- in tucson arizona. lgbt q rights and slavery in america.tomorrow you will hear from the nation magazine shawn nichols, "the new york times" and former goldman sachs vice president and undocumented immigrant julissa --. also this weekend on our afterwards program council on foreign relations president richard haas explores challenges facing us foreign policy plastic carpenter discusses how special interest groups -- harvard university's caroline light offers a critical examination of stand your ground laws and you will learn about the impact of
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charles darwin's on the origin of species published in 1860. that all happens this weekend on booktv. it is 48 hours of nonfiction authors and books, television for serious readers. >> booktv takes hundreds of other programs throughout the country all year long. here's a look at some of the event we will be covering this week on monday we will be at peace city bookshop in washington d.c. where former special assistant to george hw bush, doug weed will discuss the 2016 presidential election. on tuesday in baltimore, pulitzer prize-winning journalist will england will recall president woodrow wilson's -- away from american isolation and a lead up to world war i. wednesday we had out west to bromans bookstore in pasadena california where science writer rod pyle will report on some of the lesser-known space missions.
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and on thursday we will be at books smith bookstore in berkeley california historian and activist rebecca -- talks about the feminist movement. that is a look at some of the programs we will cover this week. many of these events are open to the public.look for them to air in the near future on booktv on c-span2. >> and welcome to tucson and the university of arizona campus. this is the tucson festival of books. booktv is live today from the gallagher theater and for the next 7 and a half hours you will hear from authors and have a chance to talk with them as well. here's our lineup for today. in just a few minutes the first author panel will begin. it is on japanese internment during world war ii. followed by your opportunity to


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